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When Covid-19 prohibits service technicians onboard, a virtual team answers the call

Wärtsilä North America, Inc., Local news 15 April 2021 at 08:00 UTC+2

Wärtsilä was contacted in late August 2020 by an Offshore customer whose semi-submersible vessel was facing issues with one of its engines. They could not start the engine due to a blocking signal. The Wärtsilä technical support team led by Juliano Fernandes and Alessandro Franceschinis were able to troubleshoot with the customer team via email and phone. They soon recognized in order to successfully troubleshoot remotely, the crew needed to log into the UNIC system onboard the vessel. Due to COVID-19, the customer did not want a technician visiting the vessel.

The next step was to install the necessary software. The customer purchased WECSplorer, but their team needed training for a technician to assist remotely. Having a Wärtsilä service representative join onboard was out of the question due to Covid-19. In comes the Wärtsilä Land and Sea Academy team in Fort Lauderdale. Thanks to the virtual trainings now set in place by Bob Miller; instructor Ari Koponen held a virtual session to train the crew aboard the vessel.

At times, it takes more than just checking off all of the boxes. Following the software installation and virtual trainings, continued troubleshooting was needed. The Wärtsilä team did not relent in their efforts to come through for their offshore partner. The newly trained crew onboard the semi-submersible was able to send trends and necessary information collected from WECSplorer and it was ultimately this, together with much patience and strong communication that resolved the engine issue.

Although this case required much coordination amongst both teams, Wärtsilä is now better prepared to support our customers in a remote capacity in the future if ever needed.